On the shear strength of tungsten nano-structures with embedded helium

RD Smirnov and SI Krasheninnikov, NUCLEAR FUSION, 53, 082002 (2013).

DOI: 10.1088/0029-5515/53/8/082002

Modification of plastic properties of tungsten nano-structures under shear stress load due to embedded helium atoms is studied using molecular dynamics modelling. The modelling demonstrates that the yield strength of tungsten nano-structures reduces significantly with increasing embedded helium concentration. At high helium concentrations (>10 at%), the yield strength decreases to values characteristic to the pressure in helium nano-bubbles, which are formed in tungsten under such conditions and thought to be responsible for the formation of nano-fuzz on tungsten surfaces irradiated with helium plasma. It is also shown that tungsten plastic flow strongly facilitates coagulation of helium clusters to larger bubbles. The temperature dependencies of the yield strength are obtained.

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